Jeanette Epps: Could Become First Black Woman to Join ISS

Astronaut Dr. Jeanette Epps could become first Black woman on an international space station. (Photo: NASA.gov)

The blogosphere is teeming with news Dr. Jeanette Epps could become the first Black woman to join an International Space Station.

NASA has assigned astronaut Jeanette Epps to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.

Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory. The flight will follow NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts.

Epps was set to make history two years ago when slated to work as a crew member on a Russian space station. She was pulled from the assignment without explanation.

Jackie Wattles of CNN writes:

“Though more than a dozen Black Americans have traveled to space since Guion Blufordbecame the first to do so in 1983, none has had the opportunity to live and work in space for an extended period, as the ISS has enabled more than 200 astronauts to do since 2000.
On Tuesday, after years of speculation about why NASA removed Epps from her assignment, she was finally reassigned. NASA said she will join astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada on a 2021 mission aboard a Boeing-built Starliner spacecraft, a vehicle still under development that is expected to re-do a key test flight later this year.”
The spaceflight will be the first for Epps, who earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 from LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She completed a master’s degree in science in 1994 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.
To read more about Dr. Epps, visit her NASA profile. To read the CNN story reference above, click here.
This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual
Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire. 

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